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Income and Work

Minnesota has one of the highest rates of labor force participation in the country, but that doesn’t mean that all Minnesotans are able to make ends meet. We research economic trends to understand who’s faring well in today’s economy, and who is left behind. We advocate for economic policies, particularly those that improve wages and job quality standards, so that more Minnesotans can thrive.

Research

October 2016

Minnesota economy improving but harsh disparities leave too many workers behind: The state of working Minnesota 2016

The U.S. economic recovery has been slow. Although Minnesota hasn’t been immune to the effects of an economic recovery characterized by fits and starts, Minnesota’s economy has a number of strengths, compared to the recent past and to national trends. Some economic indicators are back to pre-recession levels, including unemployment. Considering perhaps our most comparable neighbor, Wisconsin, our relative economic strength shines through with Minnesota’s higher labor force participation and higher median wages.

April 2016

Key groups of Minnesotans still struggling to find work in economic recovery

The economic recovery has taken hold in Minnesota. Our state has recovered the jobs lost from the recession, and our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation. But these figures disguise the fact that many Minnesota workers are not sharing in the state’s economic growth. Since Minnesota’s economic strength depends on more Minnesotans successfully participating in the workforce, making opportunity available to all should be a priority.

September 2015

For many, hard work is not enough: The state of working Minnesota 2015

While Minnesota is recovering from the Great Recession, many working Minnesotans still struggle to reach economic securi...

August 2015

Minnesota's workers need earned sick and safe time

Hard-working Minnesotans should not lose wages or their jobs when they take time off to care for themselves or a sick family member, or deal with domestic abuse. But currently, 1.1 million Minnesotans, or 41 percent of the state’s workforce, face this situation because their jobs do not offer earned sick leave. These workers live all across the state, and in some counties, including Stearns and St. Louis, about half of all workers lack access to earned sick leave.

Income and Work Blog Posts

July 09, 2020

Bonnie Tyler wasn’t wrong: We need a HERO

The HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act proposal is a needed Congressional effort to...

July 07, 2020

Special session victory: common-sense approaches reduce barriers during pandemic

Common-sense measures to remove barriers to health care, food support, and other needed services will continue, thanks to legislation passed in the June special legislative session.

July 02, 2020

Work remains to advance health, safety, and economic security

What did and did not happen in the June special session to address Minnesotans' health, safety, and economic priorities?

June 15, 2020

Special session begins; Minnesotans call for bold action

The COVID-19 crisis, and the longstanding crises in policing and racial inequity in Minnesota, have damaged our health, livelihoods, and communities. Policymakers must take bold steps to better ensure Minnesotans can stay healthy, safe, and get by economically in the immediate term, and invest in resilience in all communities for the future.

Highlighted Research

workers

State of Working Minnesota: Barriers Keep Many from Making Ends Meet

Despite Minnesota's economic recovery from the Great Recession, many Minnesotans have not seen the wage growth we would expect nearly a decade later. And many people still face barriers to finding good jobs and supporting themselves and their families, according to analysis from the Economic Policy Institute. Our State of Working Minnesota report digs deeper into the data.

Issues